DOB: 30 March 1966
Number: 12 (1987-1999)
Captain - 1998 - 1999
Best and Fairest - 1993, 1998
Grand Final team - 1988
Night Premiership player - 1987, 1989
All Australian - 1998
South Australia state player - 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999
Australian International Rules team - 1998, 1999
Life Member - 1996
MFC Hall of Fame inductee - 2008
Statistical categories led
Most games in jumper 12
After abandoning football aged 13 to concentrate on tennis, Viney rose as high as the number two junior player in Australia before making a snap decision to return to football during a tour of Europe. He played an Under 19s game for Sturt the day after returning to Australia, and was an SANFL senior player a year later, winning the 1985 South Australian rookie of the year award.
Pursued by both Essendon and Melbourne, Viney played another season in South Australia then signed a two year contract to join the Demons in 1987. After an impressive first season soured only by nine weeks missed with a knee injury, the 21-year-old was elevated to Deputy Vice-Captain for 1988. That year he lost form towards the end of the season as he battled injuries, and was dropped for the Preliminary Final after not registering a stat in the Semi. Viney was handed a reprieve when Steve O'Dwyer was suspended for the Grand Final but registered just five touches during Melbourne's record loss.
Viney was restricted to nine games in 1989 due to a pair of hamstring injuries, but was a regular the next year until a season-ending knee injury in Round 18. He played 24 games in 1991, including two finals. That year he was involved in one of the biggest controversies of the year when Chris Lewis of West Coast was suspended for biting him in Round 16. At the end of that season he signed a three year contract extension.
1993 was Viney's best campaign to date, playing 20 games and winning his first Best and Fairest. 1994 was another great season, playing 25 of 26 matches as Melbourne made a Preliminary Final. He missed the last three games of 1995 with a broken arm, and retired before 1996 to join the coaching staff of tennis player Mark Philippoussis on a reported salary of $200,000. Melbourne retained him on their senior list, and after what was supposed to be a short stint with Melbourne at the start of the season he returned full time after relations with the Philippoussis camp soured. At the end of that year, his name was floated as a potential trade to the new Port Adelaide team but he stayed with Melbourne.
Melbourne crashed to the bottom of the ladder in 1997 but Viney played every game. He was appointed captain for 1998 when Garry Lyon stepped down, and had a magnificent year leading a team that unexpectedly returned to finals. Before Round 20, 1999 Viney announced that he would retire at the end of the season. He had suffered sciatic nerve problems which had affected his hamstrings, and he'd required a mid-season epidural to get him through the end of the year. A degenerative knee condition troubled him as well.
Viney's brother Jay briefly played for the Demons in the early 1990s. Their youngest brother Ryan trained with the Demons at the end of the 2000 season but was not drafted. His son Jack announced in November 2010 that he would sign with the Demons, and was picked by the club at the 2012 National Draft.
|Round 3, 1995||Striking||2 matches|
|Round 19, 1996||Striking||1 match|
|Round 6, 1997||Wrestling||1 match payment|
|Round 16, 1998||Striking||Not Guilty|
|Round 21, 1999||Melee||$1000 fine|
Turning back an offer to become an assistant at Adelaide, Viney joined Melbourne as a midfield coach in 2000 and sat on the match committee while spending a season as a Channel Seven analyst. In 2001 he worked as a player agent, then coached Moama in 2003, before being recruited by former teammate Alastair Clarkson as an assistant at Hawthorn in 2005. He worked with the Hawks during their 2008 Premiership season before moving to Adelaide in 2009. At the end of the 2010 season, Viney returned to Melbourne as General Manager of Player Development and filled in as coach for the last five games after Dean Bailey was sacked.
Viney initially said he had no interest in the job, but hinted after his first win in Round 23 that he was considering applying. A loss to Port Adelaide in the last round ended his claims. He became General Manager of Player Personnel and Strategy in 2012, which also involved recruiting duties. One of his first acts was to draft his son. He served in the role until 2019, before joining North Melbourne as General Manager of Football in 2023.
Inside Football - 04/09/1986
Age - 02/10/1986
Age - 24/06/1987
Age - 25/08/1987
Age - 06/04/1989
Canberra Times - 05/08/1990
Age - 10/01/1992
Age - 28/01/1996
Age - 31/01/1996
Age - 04/02/1996
Age - 08/03/1996
Age - 09/10/1996
Age - 15/09/1999
Herald Sun - 02/02/2001
Riverine Herald - 07/10/2002
melbournefc.com.au - 12/10/2010